Walking the dog

We go on frequent walks with Kaiyah, our Siberian Husky. She doesn’t listen to us very well, so has usually been confined to a leash.

Most recently, though, we’ve become a little more adventurous and have started walking her without the leash. We only do that when we take to the hills across the road. There are several acres of sage brush and weeds where we have little chance of encountering other people or dogs during our walk.

Just to ensure that Kaiyah doesn’t run off, we have purchased an electric dog training collar with a remote button that we can push to give her a little zap to remind her that she should listen to us.

It has worked very well. In addition to the zapper button, it also has a button that makes a little beeper tone for her. That what we use most of the time. She rarely pushes things to the point that we have to use the “other” button, anymore.


We still have a few places where a little shade has kept the snow from melting. Our silly snow dog runs from one to the next, stopping to roll in the snow, lay on it, eat it. I guess she knows and understands her purpose in life.


Message from the March of Dimes National Ambassador

Here’s a note from the National Ambassador for this year’s March of Dimes – March for Babies.

When Katelyn was born at just 25 weeks, she measured the length of a ballpoint pen and weighed less than a pound.

My husband, Michael, and I call her our million-dollar miracle, because that’s what her hospital bill was up to when we finally took her home. Now, it’s our goal in March for Babies. We plan to raise 1 million dollars to give back to the March of Dimes. Team Katelyn first walked in 2005, we’ve already hit $140,000!

Every year on March for Babies day, we celebrate how far Katelyn has come. Seeing her walk by herself for the first time was a moment we’ll never forget. This is a girl whose doctors once said would never walk!

Families who have directly benefited from the work of the March of Dimes certainly understand the value of the organization and are willing to put forth substantial efforts to support its cause. Aren’t you glad that they are there if you, or someone close to you ever need the services of this organization?

If you want to know how you can help the cause, I’ve listed some simple things you can do that will greatly help.

Follow Katelyn’s Blog

Keep up with her travels as our National Ambassador, and don’t forget to watch her video.

bad news…

Every day, there are children born with a variety of health challenges that are the result of premature birth. March of Dimes has helped the health community in their research to reduce the frequency of premature births that cause many of the health challenges.

On April 25, 2009, I will join the thousands of people across the USA who are walking to raise funds for the March of Dimes in the March for Babies.

Many of the people who are walking to raise funds for March of Dimes are doing so because they have children or grandchildren who have been born with challenges that resulted from premature birth. I am so thankful that my three amazing children were born perfectly healthy. I don’t have any first hand experience in dealing with the issues that other families have had to overcome. I can’t imagine the difficulties and the emotional stress that other families have had to work through. I hope that I never find out, but if I am ever faced with it through someone near and dear to my heart, it is comforting to know that I can turn to an organization like March of Dimes for help.

You Can Help

Yes, of course I am soliciting donations. If you are able and would like to contribute to March of Dimes and sponsor me in this walk, please do so. Clicking on on the link in this paragraph or the banner at the end of this post will take you to a page where you can donate either by credit card or with PayPal.

Whether or not you are able or even care to contribute financially, there are other ways that you can help. I am attempting to create sort of a “viral” campaign on the internet. You can help in the cause by taking a few minutes to promote this efforts to your sphere of influence.

Did you arrive here as the result of an email message?
Take a look at the list of recipients of the message you received. If you have people in your address book that didn’t get the message, forward the message to them. If you prefer, draft your own message with a link to this post and send it to your contact list.

Do you have a Facebook profile? Copy the following line and past it into the “What are you doing now” box on your profile.

supporting the March for Babies. http://highvantagepoint.com/around-the-neighborhood/bad-news

Do you Twitter? If you don’t know what Twitter is, don’t worry about it. If you are a Twit, like me, please send out the following tweet.

RT I’m helping @ohohdon and March of Dimes fight for baby’s lives. http://budurl.com/yhtw

Use your other Social Networking tools.
Stumble this post, Digg it, add it to your del.icio.us favorites, or any other social media that you use.

Do you have a blog? Please write a short blog post that links to this post.

Performing any of these suggested activities will take only a few minutes of your time, but will expand the reach of this message many times greater than I can do on my own and provide many thousands of people the opportunity to support a great cause. Don’t do it for me – do it for the babies and the families that pour out their heart and soul to love and care for their child who was born with problems that resulted from premature birth.

Joe Parsons – Winter X Freestyle Gold

Here’s a followup to my previous post about Joe Parsons winning the Gold Medal at the Winter X Games in the Speed and Style event.

Last night, Joe Parsons concluded the Winter X Games by winning yet another Gold Medal – this time in the Freestyle even.

As a neighbor that he doesn’t even know, I must congratulate him on a job well done.

Winter X Games Style and Speed – Joe Parsons

While channel surfing on the television this evening, I paused on ESPN long enough to see that they were starting the semi-finals of the Winter X Games snocross event called Style and Speed.

This event is a race between two snowmobilers who have to run through a course that combines racing with freestyle. For those of my readers who are unfamiliar with freestyle, watch this video.

Keep in mind that the video above was from a year ago. The sport has progressed to the point that most competitions feature backflips and other tricks that completely amaze me.

What caught my attention and held my interest in the program (besides the fact that I’m a motorsports junkie), was that I noticed the name “Joe Parsons” listed as one of the semi-finalists. That was a familiar name to me.

We used to live about 2 blocks from the Parsons family.

It’s not like we were friends, or anything. In fact, I didn’t even know the family. I just saw their snowmobile trailer next to their home whenever I drove by.

My daughter, Ashley, graduated with Joe. They weren’t friends, but she knew who he was. She said that Joe missed a lot of school. Presumably he was out racing his snowmobile in various events.

In the Winter X Games event for 2009, Joe Parsons went on to win the Gold Medal.

I doubt I’ll ever get a chance to speak with him, so I’ll just comment here. Congratulations, Joe, on your Winter X Games Gold Medal. It’s always exciting to see locals rise to such levels.

Thirty-Five Below Zero

The other day, it got down to 3 degrees F, here. At the same time, the wind was gusting at our house up to about 30 mph. I was outside in that for a little while, then hurried back in the house.

We worried about our dog, who lives outside in a kennel next to our house. Siberian Huskies are made for the cold, but how cold can they handle for extended periods of time. A quick internet search revealed that they are good down to -50 or -60 degrees F.

I ran across this wind chill table. According to the table, we reached 30-35 degrees below zero. It felt like it!


It’s been almost forever since I’ve posted. I haven’t found 2 seconds to sit down a my computer in ages.

There’s been so much happening, I’ll have to summarize.

Top story: We’ve finally moved into our new house. It snowed and rained the whole time we were moving our things in. But it was beautiful weather before and beautiful after. My family has been staying their, now, for about a week, but I haven’t slept their once yet.

I haven’t slept in my new home because I’ve been staying at Dad and Mom’s house while they have been in Seattle. Their week with Opal became 2 weeks when Dad got sick and ended up spending one of those weeks in the hospital. They are coming home tomorrow. Ken is driving them to Cle Elum and my brother-in-law, Dave, is driving with me to meet them there and drive them the rest of the way home.

Ashley just got a new puppy that lives with us. It’s a beautiful little Siberian Husky. We call her “Kaiyah” which is the name of a mountain range in Alaska.

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Apple Cup at Husky Stadium with my wife and my two younger children. One of the clients of a beautician at my wife’s salon gave the tickets to us. What an amazing game. Whether a Husky fan or a Cougar fan, you’ve got to admit that it was a very exciting game.

My job has become quite challenging in recent months. In September, one of the managers that works for me retired, and in November, one of my two mailroom clerks left for a higher paying job. I was asked to absorb those positions within my group rather than to replace the positions. So, I did some restructuring of my department and re-aligned the duties within my staff. I have a great group of people working with me who have really stepped up to the challenge, but as a group we have been really taxed. Once we’ve completed all the cross training, we’ll be fine, but in the meantime there’s lots of overtime for those of us who aren’t eligible for overtime pay.

Always remember, ‘It is, what it is. Never let the things that you have no control over, get under your skin. That’s just life. When you do have a problem, remember these steps. Recognize it, address it, learn from it, get over it, and move on.

Our House is Starting to go Up

Foundation Base LayerI stopped by our property today with my camera to photograph the progress. Here’s what I found.

The foundation is being poured. The base layer of the foundation is done. They are in the process of building the forms for the foundation walls, now. I’m told that the foundation should be completed by Friday and the building will begin the following week.

Trying to Rescue Kittens

Last Sunday, I went out to the carport and heard a squeaking sound. I went over to the area where my folks feed their cats, only to find a very small, recently birthed kitten lying on the ground by itself.

We watched the area for awhile to see if the mother cat would come around, but no signs of her. We tried to get it to take some water, but didn’t have the proper tools to do so. We were hoping that the mother would come back to care for it’s baby because I wouldn’t be able to purchase the proper formula and feeder until Monday afternoon.

TwoKittensUnfortunately, the kitten only survived until late morning on Monday. When I called Austin from work, he told me the bad news, but he also let me know that there were now two more kittens.

So, on my way home from work, I went ahead and purchased some formula and a little feeder bottle to try to nurse the kittens through their infancy. Leslie named the gray one “Smokie” and the black one “Bandit.”

FeedingTimeFrom the beginning, Smokie was very healthy and would eat very well. Bandit was smaller and frail and it was difficult to get him to eat. They require lots of attention, feeding about every 3-4 hours (even through the night).

Things went very well until yesterday. We fed them about 4:30 in the afternoon, and both ate sufficiently well. When I went back at about 8:00, Smokie didn’t want to wake up. He acted very sluggish and wouldn’t eat anymore. By this morning, she had died.

Bandit is still small and frail, so we aren’t sure he will make it, but the whole experience has been fascinating for all of us.